I love theology, of course! Just in case you thought that was an amalgamation of occult powers and paranormal people, don’t be surprised how uncomplicatedly the Oxford dictionary defines the word. Regrettably, a number of them “whatever-you-want-to-call” are my friends. And notably is a woman theologian who has reached the upper echelons of the ecumenical circles. I have no idea why she even entered this business. But I like how with great candour she told me once, well I wasn’t good at studies…lazy and din’t want to work..so thought the safest, and most comfortable place to be was a Bible college. That is why a major chunk of them coming out of these places are hopeless and unbearable in all sense. Well this theologian came out in flying colors, the first in her whole community!! I am sure she is reading this and is appreciating my dry sarcasm or wisecracking? When you can sin and even have the comfort and security of God, what do you call that? Let me know soon!
Of course, they do have some thought-provoking questions at beginning of summers. Neither they know the answers nor will appreciate another’s. So, being women’s day, what is my take on Biblical feminist ideology is one. Feminists think the Bible is patriarchal and prejudiced, so what do I think? Not that I have had an interest in feminist theology, but I can see its going up at an alarming scale.
It’s a really tricky subject where you fail to find any conclusive answers from the Bible. When Christian feminists protest why they are not allowed to preach, teach and do a lot of other things that men do, can we respond affirmatively and reconcile it with the Biblical point of view? The Bible neither approves nor condemns feminism. But one element is succinctly clear, God of the Bible is not biased or prejudiced against a particular sex, all the males out there will fail horribly in that endeavor. Equality is stressed right from the first chapter of the Bible, with God having created both male and female in His image. And then who can forget Paul’s words in Galatians “there is neither Jew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female, for you are all one in Christ Jesus“. So yes, there is no doubt on the question of equality. But the bone of contention is on leadership and areas of ecclesiastical duties. On this matter, like earlier said, my view is Bible neither condemns nor confirms. If you say the latter is right, then you might find it hard to debate the following verses. You will end up swimming against the tide.
“I also want the women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, adorning themselves, not with elaborate hairstyles or gold or pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. A woman should learn in quietness and full submission. I do not permit a woman to teach or to assume authority over a man; she must be quiet. For Adam was formed first, then Eve. And Adam was not the one deceived; it was the woman who was deceived…”
“But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and the head of Christ is God.”
“Older women likewise are to be reverent in behavior, not slanderers or slaves to much wine. They are to teach what is good, and so train the young women to love their husbands and children, to be self-controlled, pure, working at home, kind, and submissive to their own husbands, that the word of God may not be reviled.”
Right, all those male chauvinists are quick to jump the gun. But we need to read those verses in absolute humility, in its own context. I believe God has chosen unique roles for both men and women, and it is in mutual respect, mutual love and mutual coworking they can exercise authority. I believe love should supersede authority and that gives no room for feminism, masculism, patriarchalism or even misogynism.
Now to the most interesting question of the theologian, who do I want to recall on this day. Frankly!!! and with all candor, it should go to CK. I can’t even thank or recall any other woman who would have wrapped food for me in aluminum foil (endless times), decorated with flowers (seriously!) and a nice chilled box of Kheer to end with. How many people have you come across in your life, who gets jumpy seeing you, I mean crazily hysterical…when only a glimpse could animate emotions. Try making a list, of those who are happy seeing you, never happy seeing you (they do grin) and those who jump out of joy! Lucky if the last touched three. I have not yet met anyone that childishly beautiful.
To put feminism to rest, I want to end rather unanimatedly with this captivating verse that depicts the tense scene of a woman being stoned “by teachers of the law” for her sins. And as Jesus rescues her, he replies “Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?’ She said, ‘No one, sir.’ And Jesus said, ‘Neither do I condemn you. Go your way, and from now on do not sin again”. No feminist view, hypothesis and spiritual mumbo jumbo can penetrate the heart and mind of this. That is no theological pep talk.